Noah’s first day of preschool yesterday went swimmingly: no biting, no tantrums, plenty of lunch- and snack-eating.
Let’s talk about how much more worried I could have been yesterday, and why.
Our first try at finding new day care for Noah was to visit another in-home day care provider. She was nice; not Linda — not even close — but nice. And the hour we spent at her home talking with her wasn’t unpleasant.
But things started to stack up against her.
First, she wasn’t licensed. Which meant my ability to claim what I paid her for child care on my taxes was limited, if not nonexistent.
Second, she had an unneutered male dog who looked slightly malnourished and wasn’t vaccinated (and, according to this woman, had fleas she couldn’t seem to get rid of).
Third, she had gotten toys out for Noah and Sam to play with while we talked, and all of them were much too babyish. They were bored in fewer than 20 minutes.
Fourth, she didn’t have reliable transportation. Her SUV had been at some guy’s shop for two months, and he never fixed it, so they took it back and her husband was gonna work on it that weekend and it was probably the fuel pump but he wasn’t 100 percent sure so he was gonna just put one in and see if that fixed it, although he’d never put in a fuel pump before but it shouldn’t be that hard and in the meantime she hadn’t been out of the house in three weeks and boy, haha, was she starting to go a little stir-crazy, and if putting in the fuel pump didn’t work then they were gonna hafta shop around for another car but that could take a few weeks to find one, so she wasn’t sure if she’d have any transportation for at least a few more weeks.
Fifth, I ran the couple’s names through UJSPortal, an online, searchable database of Pennsylvania criminal records. I discovered she hadn’t filed taxes in two years, had a problem with repeated bad checks and had, for some unexplainable reason, gotten the same weird parking ticket four days in a row in 2008.
And then, the final ax: Her husband had been convicted of simple assault in 1991.
Ding-ding! Thanks for playing, folks.